Dr. Trevor Norris

Associate Professor, Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education

Available for Graduate Advisement
Sabbatical Leave: January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2018

Dr. Trevor Norris, Faculty of Education, Brock University

St. Catharines, ON
Office: WH 264
905 688 5550 x5897

Trevor Norris is Associate Professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education. He completed his doctorate in philosophy of education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

His research focuses on the intersection of education, politics and philosophy, particularly the contributions of humanities and conceptually-based research in education.

Dr. Norris has taught courses in Democracy and Education, Modernity to Postmodernity, Philosophy of Education, Consumerism and School Commercialism, and the Social Foundations of Education at the University of Toronto, and in Applied Ethics at York University.

His research focuses on philosophical approaches to globalization, (neo)liberalism, citizenship, and democracy, with a specific focus on the political and pedagogical implications of consumerism. He pursues this research through contemporary pedagogical movements such as critical pedagogy, as well as historical approaches and thinkers such as Plato and Rousseau.

Dr. Norris specializes in “humanities oriented” research in education: research that doesn’t necessarily require experiments, direct observations, empirical data collection or working with human subjects/participants. In other words, neither qualitative nor quantitative. This can include comparisons between different educational thinkers, examinations of concepts in educational texts, links between scholarly educational texts and curriculum documents, etc. This is sometimes called ‘conceptual methodology’, or humanities based educational research, and emphasizes that research methodology is diverse, and a valid and legitimate thesis route does not necessarily require empirical data collection.

A 2011 book with University of Toronto Press, “Consuming Schools”, investigates the origins and nature of consumerism in Western political, pedagogical and philosophical thought and its impact on the public and democratic functions of education, with cases drawn from current trends in school commercialism.

He is co-author of “Questioning the Classroom: Perspectives on Canadian Education” with Oxford University Press, (2016), an undergraduate textbook which engages key philosophical questions and major debates in Canadian education. He is editor of “Democracy in Peril: Promise or Peril” (2016) with Lexington Books, which examines the democratic theory of Benjamin Barber and includes contributions from Seyla Benhabib, Carol Gilligan, & Lord Bhikhu Parekh.

A second key research area, funded by SSHRC, examines the teaching and learning of philosophy in schools, investigating teachers’ conceptions of the aims of philosophy education, dynamics within philosophy classrooms, and how students are impacted by studying philosophy. Learn more about the High School Philosophy Project.

He is formerly the editor of the journal “Professing Education“, the journal associated with the Society for Professors of Education, which aims to examine issues and debates relevant to professing education. He is participating faculty with the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Brock University.

His work is translated into several languages, including: Japanese, French, Polish, Farsi, Spanish, and Turkish.

  • EDUC 1F95: Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 5P20: History and Philosophy of Education
  • EDUC 5P30: Teaching Learning and Curriculum
  • EDUC 5P83: Conceptual Methods in Educational Research
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Teaching and Learning Philosophy
  • Humanities and Conceptually based Research Methods
  • History of Educational Thought
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Globalization and Development Theories
  • Critiques of Consumerism and Neoliberalism
  • Education and Social Change
  • Modernity and Postmodernity

Niagara Voices and Views – February, 2016. – Listen here.

Books and Books in Progress

Norris, T. Consuming Schools: Commercialism and the End of Politics. Forward by Dr. Benjamin Barber. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011.

Reviewed in: Teachers College Record; Studies in Philosophy and Education; Educational Philosophy and Theory; Canadian Journal of Political Science; Educational Theory; Teaching Education, Educational Studies; Education, Globalization and Society; Rabble.ca; The Torontoist.

Gereluk, D., Martin, C., Maxwell, B., Norris, T. Issues in Canadian Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2015.

Norris, T., Mesbahian, H., Dieter Misgeld: From Hermeneutics of the Ancient Text to the Text of Emancipatory Politics. Wilfred Laurier University Press. Under Review

Norris, T. (2016) Strong Democracy in Crisis. Contributions from: Seyla Benhabib, Carol Gilligan, Tracy Strong, Lord Bhikhu Parekh. New York: Lexington Press.

Book Chapters

Norris, T. (2013) “Arendt, Freire and the Pedagogy of Possession.” In John Portelli and William Hare (Ed.), Philosophy of Education: introductory readings(4th revised edition). Calgary, AB: Brush Publishers.

Norris, T. “Philosophy Questions about Testing in Philosophy.” In Jana Mohr Lone & Roberta Israeloff. Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012.

Norris, T., Stasko, C. (2008). “Packaging Youth and Selling Tomorrow: Deconstructing the Myths of Marketalkracy.” In Deron Boyles (Ed.), The Corporate Assault on Youth: Commercialism, Exploitation, and the End of Innocence (pp. 126-158). New York: Peter Lang.

Norris, T. (2005) “A Metanarrative of Emancipation”, in Peter Pericles Trifonas (Ed.), Communities of Difference: Language, Culture, Technology (pp. 127-139). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Journal Publications

Sandlin, J. Burdick, J. Norris, T. (2012) “Erosion and Experience: Education for Democracy in a Consumer Society” Review of Research in Education. Special Issue: “Education, Citizenship and the Common Good,” March, 2012.

Norris, T. (2014) “Going with the Flow: Canadian Geographic and Pipeline Pedagogy”. Our Schools/Ourselves. Fall

Norris, T. “The Illusory Solution: Is Commercialization the `Future` of Education at the TDSB?” Our Schools/Ourselves (2009), 49-54.

Norris, T. “Consuming Schooling: Education as Simulation,” Philosophy of Education Yearbook, 2007, 162-171.

Norris, T. “School Commercialism and the Fate of Public Schooling: What’s `Good` for America?”, Review Essay, Educational Researcher. October 2006, 32-35.

Pinto, L., Boler, M., Norris, T. “Literacy is just reading and writing, isn’t it? Conceptions of Literacy in Ontario High-Stakes Testing and its Press Coverage.” Policy Futures in Education. V. 5, No.1, January 2007), 84-99.

Norris, T. “Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: Pedagogy in the Consumer Society”. Studies in Philosophy and Education. V. 25, No. 6 (November, 2006), 457-477.

Norris, T. “Consuming Signs, Consuming the Polis: Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard on Consumer Society and the Eclipse of the Real.” International Journal of Baudrillard Studies. V. 2, No. 2 (July 2005). Required reading in Senior Sociology Seminar, Bishops University, Dr. Gerry Coulter.

Norris, T. “Hannah Arendt and Paulo Freire: Consuming, Schooling, and the End of Politics.” Kwartalnik Pedagogiczny. No. 2 (196), 2006, 73-91.

Norris, T. “Re-thinking Re-producing Consumption: Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire and the Pedagogy of Possession.” Philosophical Studies in Education Yearbook, 2005, 77-90.

Other Publications

Norris, T. (2013) “Review Symposium on Consuming Schools,” Policy Futures in Education. (With contributions from three scholars and a response by author). Vol. 11, No 3.

Norris, T. (2011) Response to Waddington. “Studies in Philosophy and Education,” 30, 93-96.

Norris, T. (2010) Encyclopedia entries for: “Neoliberalism,” “Neoconservativism,” “Commercialism in Schools,” “Participatory Democracy,” in The Greenwood Dictionary of Education, Second Edition. Westport, CT.

Norris, T., Stasko C., “The Product is Youth: Teen Marketing and the Selling of Tomorrow.” The Association for Media Literacy.